Unbelievable: 1976 Pontiac Grand Prix LJ

What would a 14,000 mile 1976 Pontiac Grand Prix look like in 2020? Well, here is a good example of what a well maintained, low mile Grand Prix should look like. This car is in amazing condition even though the owner has driven and enjoyed it over the past four years since his purchase with only 10,500 miles on the odometer in 2016. The current bid on this beauty is $19,100 with two days remaining in the auction. You can place your bid and see additional pictures of this Grand Prix here on eBay. The car is located in Simpsonville, South Carolina.

The dark red interior \, sometimes called oxford or mahogany, is immaculate and contrasts well with the Cameo White exterior. This Grand Prix was ordered with the LJ Luxury group which was a $365 option that included velour cloth seats and matching Cordova top. A number of nice options were ordered when this car was new including the AM/FM 8 track tape radio, tilt steering, soft ray glass, air conditioning, cruise control, and the full gauge package. Surprisingly, the car does not have power windows or power locks.

The 400 cubic inch V8 engine was Pontiac’s tired and true 6.6-liter motor that was fitted in everything from station wagons to Trans Ams. This 400 engine was the L78 version that was rated at 180 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque from the factory. An automatic transmission backs the V8 engine and is operated via a console-mounted floor shifter. The car is fitted with Pontiac Rally II wheels and trim rings which was a $65 option over the standard chrome wheel coverings.

The current seller has maintained this Grand Prix by changing the belts and tuning up the engine. The air conditioning was restored two years ago and still hold R12 gas just like it did from the factory. The seller states the climate control system works great. Not much is said about the body but it looks pretty good in the pictures. This car should make a collector pretty happy.

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Comments

  1. Moparman Member

    “An automatic transmission backs the V8 engine and is operated via a console mounted floor shifter.” I guess that odd thing to the right of the steering wheel must be some type of assist handle?! LOL!! :-) This appears to be an impeccably kept car, and the new owner should be well pleased! GLWTA!! :-)

    Like 23
    • Mike

      Sometimes I really wonder if a computer is writing these stories instead of an actual human being that knows anything about cars. It’s also no surprise that any 1970s car didn’t have power windows or door locks. Pretty common in cars not named Lincoln or Cadillac. Sheesh!

      Like 19
      • Fred W

        Well, Mike, ya don’t know if you weren’t there. And you have to be over 50 to have been there and old enough to know.

        Like 11
      • Jim in FL

        Yes, power windows and power door locks were relatively expensive back in the day. It was more common to leave these options off 2 door cars because you could just reach over. Today the LJ package would have made you select power windows and door locks. It’s cool to see how much less of a cookie cutter an older individually ordered car is.

        Very sharp example. In the early 80s, there weren’t as many that looked so good. Some (not all) part available through Ames. Nice.

        Like 7
      • Will Irby

        Hey, at least the “tired and true” description of the engine is accurate. It is a beautiful car though.

        Like 5
      • Jerry Member

        It IS surprising that a luxury Grand Prix doesnt have power windows and locks…..its not a Pinto……now go have some coffee Mike and relax!😁

        Like 3
      • David Fleming

        I ordered a 1972 Pontiac GTO straight right from the Factory power windows, power door locks. Power steering, I didn’t order power seats but you could, as a friend ordered the luxury lemans and it had power everything. And I am old enough to know, 71 next month.

        Like 1
      • Chuck Dickinson

        I would imagine that the majority of GP LJs would’ve had PW and PDL (mine did). LJ was their top-line trim, so perhaps on the base or even SJ versions there may have been more ‘basic’ cars.

      • Bill McCoskey

        Not having power windows and locks on the “Luxury” version is one of the reasons the Japanese car companies were able to take over the American market.

        The Japanese automobile makers offered their cars as econoboxes with no options, and upscale versions loaded with all the options. They did so for 3 basic reasons:

        1. It typically took about 6 months between placing an order for a specific vehicle and it’s delivery to the dealership. Americans were not willing to wait that long, and looked elsewhere. So the Japanese made 2 types of cars; loaded and stripped.

        2. Lower costs. The Japanese manufacturers realized that by making more production cars with options like power windows & locks, they could significantly lower the manufacturing costs for these options, and make more money. I worked for foreign car dealers back then and remember how people reacted when they found out how cheap they could buy a well-optioned Japanese car, compared to a smaller USA car.

        3. Lack of options on American small cars. US automakers, spearheaded by GM, decided that most Americans didn’t want luxury options on small cars, and expected their salesmen to “Upsell” customers wanting the luxury items like power windows & locks, to more expensive cars.

        For example; Ford didn’t offer power windows on a basic 1965 Falcon or Mustang, but you could get them on the full size Fords. If you wanted power windows on a mid-size Pontiac, you couldn’t get them on a ’66 Tempest, but you could order them on a GTO.

        An exception was Studebaker. in the 1960s you could get well-optioned base line Studebakers, one of the reasons Studebaker did well in overseas markets.

        [My observations based on factory brochures, and never seeing the options on cheaper cars.]

    • Chuck

      That’s the ejection handle 🤣🤣🤣

  2. John Oliveri

    I had the exact car, in the early 80s stolen recovery, needed a quarter panel, Lil stuff, mine had power windows and doors, no where near as nice as this one, I threw a set of Superior basket spokes and whitewalls on it, after the body work was done, flipped it for a 75 Lincoln Mark IV and gave up some cash, loved all these luxury boats, have a 73 Grand Prix for the past 16 yrs, 455, sunroof car, wouldn’t trade it for , well maybe a Lipstick Mark IV but that’s another story

    Like 3
  3. UK Paul 🇬🇧

    It’s a lovely thing.

    Like 2
  4. Keith

    This car has auto air a very problem prone system. Bench seat Grand prix is rare because nobody wanted it. Nice car but not for me without the power options.

    Like 3
  5. Dan G

    I like the well placed giant clock on the dash that’s more prominent than the speedometer. That might have been a good place for maybe, I don’t know, a tach?

    • Ralph

      Tach was an option if you wanted it, not really much need for it in an automatic….but it was available.

      Now you learned something, hopefully…..

  6. Miles A Wilson

    Had a 75 Caprice Classic with power windows and locks, cruise, etc.

  7. John Oliveri

    My 73 SJ 455 has the tach, or any real reason for it, cause my 73 isn’t fast, and that 76 definitely isn’t fast, they’re luxury cruisers, 62 thru 71,they were fast

  8. Vern

    You spent 10% of the base price on ac you weren’t getting power windows unless you were rich then you bought a caddy

    • Keith

      This is one of the most oddball ordered car to have the big engine option a bench seat and no power options with the auto air.Somebody was high on something.

      Like 1
      • John Oliveri

        There was an old lady in my NY neighborhood when I was growing up, and she would buy a new car every 2 yrs, with every option in the book, but no A/C, she had a new 74 T bird no air, she bought, I swear to u, a 77 Bandit Trans am, she was in her 70s, T tops loaded no air, eccentric? Probably, cars had 1500, not thousand fifteen hundred miles, real Church miles at trade in

        Like 1
      • DayDreamBeliever Member

        Go Granny!

        I’ll bet that the dealership staff climbed all over each other to get those cars!

  9. Bob McK Member

    I would rather buy the 37 Oldsmobile! What a fantastic car.

  10. Tom Bell

    Combinations of optional accessories that seem odd today exist because when this G/P was built, buyers had the ability to spec a new car as they wanted it and were not forced into ordering expensive option packages with equipment they didn’t really want. Bundling extra cost options and making options “standard” does nothing more than drive up the base price of the vehicle while reducing the ability of buyers to get what they really want.

    Rant mode: off.

    Like 5
    • Keith

      I was a parts manger for a Pontiac dealer in Ohio and ordered a 77 GP for myself. The car had everything including the Glass Moonroof and leather seats. Wish I would have kept it but got back into the performance cars and traded it on a 87 Grand National. One of the salesman at the dealership bought my car and still has it today.He said he will be buried in that car.

      Like 2
    • Jerry Member

      Is this the Tom Bell that has dealerships in So Cal??

  11. John Oliveri

    The 77 was a beautiful looking car, end of an era, hopefully yours was the 400, no more 455s after 76, then they started crossing Oldsmobile and Chevy motors, or the 301 Pontiac that was underpowered for that big car, but sufficient for the downsized 78 up cars

    • Keith

      Yes the 400 was a must and even ordered in the crossmember from a earlier GP to put a true duel exhaust on minus the converter.Was my first ordered car but the Gran National was a lot more fun. Bigger family meant bigger cars and traded that GN in on a 92 SSEi Bonneville then a 95 SSEi then a 98SSEi.Then the truck bug hit.

  12. Chuck

    GM did a much better job than Ford at integrating the big bumpers on their cars.

    Like 1
  13. Thomas Haywood

    Bought a 1975 G P , 400 , buckets w/console mounted shift. Arctic blue, white intrrior. Loaded. A stunningly beautiful , comfortable, great driving car. Had no business buying that beauty. I was young , ( dumb ) , married, two young kids. Terrible gas mileage. Sold after 3 years.

  14. Daryl

    Wonder how many LJ’s had the 60/40 split-bench seating option. The column shifter clearly rules out the more common bucket seats & console interior choice.

  15. Gerard Frederick

    You were young and dumb? Ha, weren´t we all back in the day? Great memories though!

    Like 1
  16. George Mattar

    Sold my silver on red velour 1977 GP SJ in 2006. What a mistake. 35 options including Hurst Hatches and snowflakes. Bought it on eBay, flew one way to Raleigh and drove it home 550 miles. Not a problem. Stopped to get the oil changed as I over maintain my cars. Have a Corvette now, but would dump.it today to get that car back.

    • Jerry Member

      A few weeks ago there was a Maroon with red interior 76 SJ in very good condition for sale on Facebook Marketplace for $8,500. Pontiac 400.
      It was at a small dealer near Hickory NC, not sure if its still listed.

  17. Wade

    Where did they get the R12 and what if it leaks then what? Conversion job or 270 ac?

    Like 1
    • Bill McCoskey

      Wade,

      R-12 is still available, but due to huge amounts of US Federal taxes, it’s very expensive in America. I know a guy who bought a couple of cases of it real cheap while in a 3rd world country, and shipped it back after covering the outside of the cans with labels indicating it was compressed air for cleaning computers!

      Like 1
  18. Vernon Kuncze

    R12 can be found on ebay

  19. Jerry Member

    BILL McCOSKY……..
    I disagree with your #1 fact that it “typically” took 6 months to order a car back then.
    That time frame was only for new high in demand models.
    I remember going to the dealer with my Dad in 1973 and he ordered a new Ford Galaxie 500.
    Took about 4 to 6 weeks to get, nowhere near 6 months.

    • Bill McCoskey

      Jerry, you are correct. What I meant to say was it took 6 months for JAPANESE vehicles to arrive. The manufacturers have been able to shave a couple of months off that time today, but it can still take 3-4 months to take delivery of an ordered vehicle.

      Like 1
  20. Gerard Frederick

    True story. Way back in the day I was the finance manager at Jackson-Goldie Ford in once beautiful Oakland Ca. and I ordered a 1967 Mustang Fastback with the handling package, Michelin tires, Koni shocks and all the up grades available as my demo. It wasn´t more than a month that I received my gorgeous ride. Sadly 9 months later it was sold to a couple of true morons who later claimed the car had been in an accident because of its ¨rough¨ ride. Turned out in reality they couldn´t affiord the car, it was reposessed shortly after their outrageous claims. Sometimes I wish I´d still have this beauty.

    Like 1
  21. Keith

    I have ordered new cars since 1987. Every two to three years got a shiny new car in the driveway. Every car except one a 2019 Hellcat toke 4 to 6 weeks the Hellcat was 3 months to find out that the dealer was only able to get so many per year. Would have never ordered that car if they would have been upfront with me on that.If you want to go back to 1967 that was my farther’s first new car order and he did the same thing with two to three year spans between new cars. Same timeframe for getting cars back then 4 to 6 weeks.

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